“Christ must increase, but I must decrease.”—John 3.30 “There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ's sake, or we cannot be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe; it is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing, nor does the nature of our relationship to him, or to God through him, ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces, or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on his blood & righteousness alone that we can rest.”—B.B. Warfield “The sinful nature still present within every believer tends toward a legalistic spirit as much as it tends toward sin. The sinful nature despises the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ as much as it despises the ethical righteousness that comes from obeying God's law. If we are going to serve in the newness of the Spirit, we must resist the legalistic spirit of trying to “live by the law” as vigorously and persistently as we do temptations to sin.”—Jerry Bridges
Never acceptable apart from Jesus, that is. We rest in Him.